Is Anyone Talking About Privacy?

by Art Fag City on March 31, 2009 · 26 comments Events

Art Fag City,
Jordan Rhoat, Sunrise, 2009. Image via: Vvork

“Is Anybody Talking About Originality?” asks a recent post at click opera about creativity.  Comparing the myth of masturbators who suffer from palm hair growth, imomus describes a “similar trope” from the psychometric research into creativity.

For educational psychologist Gary A. Davis, “personality characteristics of creative people include awareness of their creativity, originality, independence, risk taking, personal energy, curiosity, humour, attraction to complexity and novelty, artistic sense, open-mindedness, need for privacy, and heightened perception”. The first sign of creativity, you might say, is believing in it, the second is looking for it. Belief in originality is productive of originality.

Momus goes on to look at a number of randomly chosen Frieze reviews, before concluding originality as alive, but low on a critics’ list of attributes for which to look. “Postmodern appropriation and referentiality seems to have bumped it down the priorities list, and I’d argue that where it isn’t looked for, originality won’t flourish,” he writes. “If nobody’s even talking about the hairs on your palm, they might as well not exist.”

Notably, writing a post exploring the idea of originality’s fading consequence seems wholly relevant because we still buy its connection to creativity.  A need for privacy, however– also listed by psychologist Gary A. Davis as an attribute amongst creative people– seems much more dubious, particularly in the age of Facebook.  In fact, as it pertains to creativity, nobody’s discussing the matter at all.   I expect this comes from the perception that increased communication (which tends to accompany a decrease in privacy) aids the creative process.  Probably the best evidence of this social trend exists not in art reviews, but on lefty dating sites.  Virtually everyone seeks to woo by describing their consumption of media as large and listing various communication devices they can’t do without.

But where does all this leave privacy and the creative process?  As far as I can tell, nobody buys into the concept enough to have even asked.  In other words, those  hairs on your palm?  They don’t exist.

  • http://www.lovelake.org eva

    I think the people who need to be private in terms of creativity and originality still are – even if they Twitter and do Facebook. Because we don’t have to be really “out” when we do it. I very rarely meet anyone for lunch or coffee, etc. That’s actually one of the reasons I could do the online stuff – I was still private + alone.

  • http://www.lovelake.org eva

    I think the people who need to be private in terms of creativity and originality still are – even if they Twitter and do Facebook. Because we don’t have to be really “out” when we do it. I very rarely meet anyone for lunch or coffee, etc. That’s actually one of the reasons I could do the online stuff – I was still private + alone.

  • http://www.lovelake.org eva

    I think the people who need to be private in terms of creativity and originality still are – even if they Twitter and do Facebook. Because we don’t have to be really “out” when we do it. I very rarely meet anyone for lunch or coffee, etc. That’s actually one of the reasons I could do the online stuff – I was still private + alone.

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  • http://rollertrain.tumblr.com/ libby

    in regards to privacy and creativity in the online age, adding honesty into the unasked question would make things more or less interesting.

  • http://rollertrain.tumblr.com/ libby

    in regards to privacy and creativity in the online age, adding honesty into the unasked question would make things more or less interesting.

  • Art Fag City

    What is the unasked question that requires honesty? Do you mean whether privacy, and honesty are required in the creative process?

  • Art Fag City

    What is the unasked question that requires honesty? Do you mean whether privacy, and honesty are required in the creative process?

  • Art Fag City

    What is the unasked question that requires honesty? Do you mean whether privacy, and honesty are required in the creative process?

  • Art Fag City

    What is the unasked question that requires honesty? Do you mean whether privacy, and honesty are required in the creative process?

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  • http://betsyalwin.com betsy

    My husband and I were just discussing this the other night. Social networking sites and blogs allow a creative person the day to day public spotlight that otherwise would be fewer and further between in gallery shows/ exhibitions. But as much as they give, they take. The returns are momentary and the interaction is fleeting – we end up spending a lot of time relative to what we get out of it. Still, it’s fun and cheaper than meeting for coffee all the time.

  • http://betsyalwin.com betsy

    My husband and I were just discussing this the other night. Social networking sites and blogs allow a creative person the day to day public spotlight that otherwise would be fewer and further between in gallery shows/ exhibitions. But as much as they give, they take. The returns are momentary and the interaction is fleeting – we end up spending a lot of time relative to what we get out of it. Still, it’s fun and cheaper than meeting for coffee all the time.

  • http://betsyalwin.com betsy

    My husband and I were just discussing this the other night. Social networking sites and blogs allow a creative person the day to day public spotlight that otherwise would be fewer and further between in gallery shows/ exhibitions. But as much as they give, they take. The returns are momentary and the interaction is fleeting – we end up spending a lot of time relative to what we get out of it. Still, it’s fun and cheaper than meeting for coffee all the time.

  • http://betsyalwin.com betsy

    My husband and I were just discussing this the other night. Social networking sites and blogs allow a creative person the day to day public spotlight that otherwise would be fewer and further between in gallery shows/ exhibitions. But as much as they give, they take. The returns are momentary and the interaction is fleeting – we end up spending a lot of time relative to what we get out of it. Still, it’s fun and cheaper than meeting for coffee all the time.

  • http://www.darknever.net GinaB

    I see originality and interactivity as two sides of a coin. Interactivity is not just about the social sphere and facebook, the internet allows artists to see what artists are showing all over the world, via gallery websites. The more awareness there is about what everyone else is doing, the more that rubs off, or is co-opted and the less ‘originality’ there is. I think it was different 10+ years ago, because you knew far less about what people were up to–only the people in your community or the shows/books you had access to You could kind of develop your work in more of a vacuum…

  • http://www.darknever.net GinaB

    I see originality and interactivity as two sides of a coin. Interactivity is not just about the social sphere and facebook, the internet allows artists to see what artists are showing all over the world, via gallery websites. The more awareness there is about what everyone else is doing, the more that rubs off, or is co-opted and the less ‘originality’ there is. I think it was different 10+ years ago, because you knew far less about what people were up to–only the people in your community or the shows/books you had access to You could kind of develop your work in more of a vacuum…

  • http://www.darknever.net GinaB

    I see originality and interactivity as two sides of a coin. Interactivity is not just about the social sphere and facebook, the internet allows artists to see what artists are showing all over the world, via gallery websites. The more awareness there is about what everyone else is doing, the more that rubs off, or is co-opted and the less ‘originality’ there is. I think it was different 10+ years ago, because you knew far less about what people were up to–only the people in your community or the shows/books you had access to You could kind of develop your work in more of a vacuum…

  • W.W.I.I.G.G.S.S.

    Its funny how Facebook and Twitter are supposed to bring people together, but I think they actually make it easier to ignore people. There’s something very ‘catholic’ and ritualized about online networking. Something seedy and pathological about it too. A generation of people constantly refreshing our browsers, too afraid to actually make eye contact. What do I know? I was a misanthrope and antisocial before all this social networking started, so what’s my excuse?

  • W.W.I.I.G.G.S.S.

    Its funny how Facebook and Twitter are supposed to bring people together, but I think they actually make it easier to ignore people. There’s something very ‘catholic’ and ritualized about online networking. Something seedy and pathological about it too. A generation of people constantly refreshing our browsers, too afraid to actually make eye contact. What do I know? I was a misanthrope and antisocial before all this social networking started, so what’s my excuse?

  • W.W.I.I.G.G.S.S.

    Its funny how Facebook and Twitter are supposed to bring people together, but I think they actually make it easier to ignore people. There’s something very ‘catholic’ and ritualized about online networking. Something seedy and pathological about it too. A generation of people constantly refreshing our browsers, too afraid to actually make eye contact. What do I know? I was a misanthrope and antisocial before all this social networking started, so what’s my excuse?

  • http://rollertrain.tumblr.com/ libby

    honesty, in both the literal day-to-day and overall moral sense, is closely tied to privacy online as bloggers/etc self-edit their output to protect themselves.

    it’s impossible to ‘know’ someone’s personality or work online beyond what they choose to share, though their readers and viewers often feel an intimacy that’s as real as an old-fashioned friendship or IRL connection.

    narrowing this down to the realm of art-making blogs (for the sake of sanity), there are generally two categories: artists who share their work, and artists who share their work and the process that went into it. i find much more inspiration in the latter, though it’s not for everyone.

  • http://rollertrain.tumblr.com/ libby

    honesty, in both the literal day-to-day and overall moral sense, is closely tied to privacy online as bloggers/etc self-edit their output to protect themselves.

    it’s impossible to ‘know’ someone’s personality or work online beyond what they choose to share, though their readers and viewers often feel an intimacy that’s as real as an old-fashioned friendship or IRL connection.

    narrowing this down to the realm of art-making blogs (for the sake of sanity), there are generally two categories: artists who share their work, and artists who share their work and the process that went into it. i find much more inspiration in the latter, though it’s not for everyone.

  • valerie

    am eternally grateful to be able to see gallery sites,but I think twitter and facebook are sort of rediculous,except for perhaps announcing a party or event-they are time suckers,mostly.And I look at them when I SHOULD BE PAINTING.

  • valerie

    am eternally grateful to be able to see gallery sites,but I think twitter and facebook are sort of rediculous,except for perhaps announcing a party or event-they are time suckers,mostly.And I look at them when I SHOULD BE PAINTING.

  • valerie

    am eternally grateful to be able to see gallery sites,but I think twitter and facebook are sort of rediculous,except for perhaps announcing a party or event-they are time suckers,mostly.And I look at them when I SHOULD BE PAINTING.

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